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O'Neill Gets Two in 5-3 Win Over Bears

Brian O'Neill. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Brian O'Neill. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Miller Gets Winner, Malcolm Stops 34

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's hockey team has been waiting for an offensive explosion from its captain, and it happened in a 5-3 win over Brown in ECAC Hockey action at Ingalls Rink. Brian O'Neill (Yardley, Pa.) scored two goals and had one assist to help the No. 14/15 Bulldogs erase 2-0 and 3-2 deficits on the way to an important conference victory in the first game of a home-and-home series with the Bears.

The Bulldogs (6-3-1, 4-1-0 ECAC), who scored five of the game's last six goals, converted two of four advantages while edging Brown in shots, 39-37.   

He may not have earned one of the three stars, but junior goalie Jeff Malcolm (Lethbridge, AB) stood on his head at times while stopping 34 of 37 shots against a team that produced a ton of odd-man rushes.

The Bears (3-6-1, 2-3-0), who had more shots on net than Yale in the first two frames, got 34 saves from Michael Clemente.

Yale lost the first seven face-offs and one of those resulted in the game's first goal 43 seconds after the opening draw. Kyle Quick fired a low wrister from the point that caromed off a Yale player's stick, bounced off the far post and went in. Malcolm had no chance to react to the change in direction.

The visitors took advantage of their second power-play chance to go up 2-0 when Jack Maclellan skated in from the left circle and hit the top of the net from 15 feet away at 10:37.

The Blue got one back with 5:50 left in the first, jumping all over its first advantage. O'Neill, coiled and ready in the left circle, one-timed a great crossing feed from Tommy Fallen (Plymouth, Minn.) that slipped inside a slight opening. It was the captain's fourth goal of the year.

Yale won 13 of the last 18 face-offs in the opening period and picked up the pace nearly enough to even things before intermission.

The Elis got the equalizer midway through the second on its second advantage. Clinton Bourbonais (Colchester, Conn.) did a lot of the dirty work to create the opportunity, and Antoine Laganiere (Ile Cadeux, Que.) was there to snap the rebound past Clemente for his third tally of the season. Bourbonais skated past a defender and then fired a point-blank shot off the goalie's pads. The big Yale winger followed up from a crowd of players.

Brown grabbed the lead back with 2:03 left in the second on a shot from the point that was tipped in by freshman Matt Harlow, his first collegiate score. Quick sent the puck toward the net and Harlow was able to get his stick on it through traffic.

That goal spoiled a great period by Malcolm, who stopped four odd-man rushes and numerous grade-A chances among his 11 saves. The first half of the third period was another Malcolm highlight show, but the home team tied it up again just past the midway point. Junior blueliner Colin Dueck (Calgary, AB), looking for his first goal of the year, took a back pass from Charles Brockett (Shaker Heights, Ohio) and unleashed a low shot from the left circle at 10:27 to make it 3-3.

The Bulldogs made it two straight with a goal by Andrew Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) nearly three minutes later. Miller, who missed the Boston College game with an injury, was in the high slot with some space when Jesse Root (Pittsburgh, Pa.) spotted him from the corner. Miller took the feed, wound up and sent a low lazer past Clemente at 13:38.

"I really liked our ability to claw back. We hung in there and hung in there again… and Dueck gets a goal for us that really gave our team energy. I liked our offensive play, but we are still giving up too many chances on defense," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey.

The Miller goal seemed to open up the Ingalls shooting gallery. Pucks were flying at and around both goalies and the Bulldogs were the ones to take advantage of it. O'Neill (5th goal) added his second after Miller stole the puck at the Brown blueline and then got it to Root. O'Neill notched his first even-strength tally of the year with another one-timer from the left circle. This one took a different path to the net.

"It was a nice pass by Jesse (Root). The goalie was sliding across. If the goalie wasn't there, it might have gone high or wide, but I got a lucky bounce. It may have gone off his mask," said O'Neill. "We had a great third period tonight."

The Bulldogs head to Meehan Auditorium on Saturday night for a re-match with the Bears, who won at home against Yale last winter.

"They play fast, they get good goaltending, they are physical and they are a tough team to play," said Allain of Brown.


BULLDOG BITES: Brown outshot Yale 12-11 in both the first and second frames… Andrew Miller returned from injury to notch two points including the game-winning goal… Ten different Bulldogs had assists while four different players found the net.


Report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director